About MS

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological condition that affects the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain and spinal cord1. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the coating that protects the nerves (called myelin), which helps messages travel quickly and smoothly from the brain to the muscles and organs to co-ordinate the functioning of the body1,2. This attack results in inflammation and ‘sclerosis’, or scarring and hardening of the nerve tissues, disrupting the messages travelling along the nerve fibres2.

About MS

MS is a progressive condition that can move through different phases, in which the type, frequency and severity of symptoms vary - no two people experience MS in the same way and symptoms can differ from person to person. Some of the areas that MS can affect include3:

  • Memory, thinking and concentration, sometimes referred to as ‘cog fog’
  • Energy level (fatigue)
  • Vision
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Mobility
  • Pain
  • Speech and swallowing
  • Bowel and bladder
  • Sexual dysfunction

There are three types of MS: relapsing remitting MS (RRMS), secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and primary progressive MS (PPMS)4.


1. MS Society. About MS. Available at: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/about-ms. Accessed April 2020.
2. NHS. Multiple sclerosis: Causes. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/causes/. Accessed April 2020.
3. NHS. Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/multiple-sclerosis/symptoms/. Accessed April 2020.
4. MS Society. Types of MS. Available at: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/what-is-ms/types-of-ms. Accessed April 2020

MS Dictionary

Living with MS can feel like you are learning a new language! It can feel overwhelming at times, but getting to grip with the words can be helpful when it comes to having open conversations with your MS specialist, neurologist, GP or MS nurse.

In addition, if your healthcare team use complicated language during appointments, it is completely fine to ask them to explain, that is what they are there for!

See below for our handy MS dictionary:

Loss of taste function on the tongue.

Central pain sensitisation following non-painful stimulation. 

Lack of coordination and unsteadiness on your feet.

Conditions in which the immune system attacks and destroys healthy cells and tissues.

The part of the neuron along which messages travel to be transferred to another part of the body.

A foot reflex stimulation to test for MS.

The different measures used by medical professionals to evaluate certain processes happening in the body.

Protecting your brain from viruses and harm.